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Justice for Lynne Stewart!

May 11, 2007

By Pat Levasseur

Excerpted from the Lynne Stewart newsletter, Spring 2007, http://www.lynnestewart.org

The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee wishes to thank all of you for your steadfast support of Lynne Stewart. In April it will be five years since Lynne’s arrest. Although we were all relieved at the 28-month sentence that Lynne received – it is still over two years in prison and for a 67 year old woman, who has suffered breast cancer and other health issues, a considerable length of time in prison (at last exam Lynne was cancer free and remains on medication to prevent a reoccurrence).

Lynne went to court on the day of sentencing fully expecting to go to prison for the rest of her life. On the eve of her sentencing over 750 people attended a rally at Riverside Church of New York. On the day of sentencing a spirited rally took place outside the courthouse. People walked with Lynne to court but most were unable to get in to the courtroom. You can imagine Lynne’s emotions when she exited the courthouse after several hours to find many people still waiting for her with flowers and cheers.

An exhausted but overjoyed Lynne spoke to the People thanking the Judge and especially all the people who have stood by her. (A transcript of Judge Koeltl’s sentencing remarks is available at lynnstewart.org).

The Government is appealing Lynne’s sentence. The Defense is appealing Lynne’s conviction. The struggle continues. While reviewing our work of the past five years the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee feels very proud of the organizing we have done both in terms of fighting for Lynne Stewart and developing the broad support for Lynne Stewart and the issues her arrest raised.

Fighting the Bush administration’s attack on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We intend to continue to do both – as we all know our rights are far from secured by a newly elected democratic congress.

America seemed to wake up during the last election and the tide of opinion has turned against the war in Iraq but we breathe no sigh of relief from this election, only hope that the People will remain awake.

We also don’t believe that the People’s vote was just against the war, we believe the American people are also affronted by the loss of many rights which many of us still remember fighting to secure and a deep concern for the environment. We are united in securing a world our grandchildren can flourish in body and soul.

The continued disintegration of the attorney client privilege and the conditions of prisoners, the shameful treatment of detainees, the length of prison sentences meted out in this country, the Prison Industrial Complex, the challenge to and loss of the right to Habeus Corpus all cry out for our continued vigilance and unity.

…We hope that you will continue to work in solidarity with the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee, help us to continue our work and continue the unity in the progressive community that we have built over these last five years.

We have been able to continue our work over these last 5 years mainly from individual donations. We continue seeking donations. These funds will be used to support a part time staff person, to send Lynne Stewart around the country to speak about her case and continuing to struggle for justice, to support the work of Lynne’s appeal, to continue the Newsletter and to hold events to build unity and knowledge as we fight back. Checks should be made payable to: Lynne Stewart Organization or if you prefer a tax deductible contribution to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation with “Lynne Stewart Organization” on the memo line.

Mail all to the same address:
350 Broadway, Suite 700,
New York, NY 10013

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